Sunday, January 15, 2012

Pageant Fun and Commentary

“Here she is, Miss America…” The familiar song lyrics bring back memories from my childhood. Like many other girls, I grew up watching the Miss America Pageant every year. It was quite the event at our house. My mother and I would take notes on our favorite (and not so favorite) contestants as we watched the pageant and make our selection for the winner.

50 Contestants pose in white dresses for Life Magazine in 1956.

Today, I still enjoy watching pageants. Last night, it was fun to see social media commentary while watching the Miss America pageant. You can see my twitter feed from last night to see what I had to say. While all of the participants prepared for this competition, it is easy to see who truly has talent and poise and who has been coached. My preliminary picks were Miss Virginia, Miss New York, and Miss Texas. After some of my favorites were eliminated, I supported Miss Oklahoma, who was the first runner up.

Some observations from last night:
1. Judges: I’m not sure how judges were selected, but I’m not sure that these people recognize poise, talent, and character. Kris Jenner as a judge?

2. Talent: The talent portion of the evening is always interesting. We had quite a few dancers who looked like they had spent 6 months preparing for a dance recital. Only two, Miss Oklahoma with her Irish Dance, and Miss California who danced on pointe, demonstrated a high level of skill in their presentations. Someone needs to tell the other ballerinas on pointe that regular shoes would have been sufficient. I had high hopes for Miss Texas on the piano, but was disappointed with her posture. 

Then we had the singers.  During the song about Disneyland, I actually laughed out loud at the lyrics.  "I still believe in Disneyland, maybe it's all fake, but that's a chance I'll take."  Really?  No pageant is complete without someone putting on a red dress and singing Memory from Cats.  The twist on this song was that it was sung in Italian. 

3. Tidbits and Fun Facts: Some of the information about each contestant that ran across the bottom of the screen was just strange. Knows how to give a manicure to a cow? Afraid of windmills?

4. Miss Wisconsin needs to invest in some waterproof mascara.

Just this week, one of my friends posted something about a pageant for her elementary school daughter on Facebook and it elicited many, many comments and opinions, including quite a few negative ones. People have very strong opinions about pageants. In my opinion, pageants are no different than any other sport or extracurricular activity for a young girl when they are handled correctly by the parent. Overzealous parents exist in every sport, dance, and activity. When parents don’t handle things correctly, they can push their child into difficult schedules, activities, and affect their general well being and self esteem through activities that are not necessarily age appropriate.

It’s up to us as responsible parents to allow our children to participate in activities that they enjoy. It’s up to us to instill good character and values in children while emphasizing the importance of education. Any extracurricular activity, whether it is pageants or soccer, requires a proper balance. Ok, so I’ll get off my soapbox now.

My girls love to watch a good pageant as much as they enjoy watching a high school girls’ soccer game. But we’re certainly looking forward to the Miss Universe competition.

Until then,

God Bless America


image via Time


  1. I only watched a little bit of it, but you're right having Kris Jenner as a judge was a no no.

    xx Emily @

  2. had SO MUCH FUN Live Tweeting with you :D

  3. Love this post. I am not a pageant person and have never found it interesting in the least. I agree that it is like a "sport." Love your comments, though. Happy Sunday!
    Lulu and Daisy

  4. My minnie and I watched last night while in our hotel room. It was so much fun to watch with her. We found most of the talents to be painful to watch, though!

  5. My minnie and I watched last night while in our hotel room. It was so much fun to watch with her. We found most of the talents to be painful to watch, though!

  6. Thanks for your wise perspective, Bethany. I agree with everything you said ... and then some! Watching Miss America is very nostalgic for me, too, because my sister, mom, and I watched it every year together like clockwork. THough pageants in general get a bad rap these days, I think, b/c of the ridiculousness we see on shows like Toddlers and Tiaras, I agree with you that in these cases it's the parents to blame, vs. the activity itself (just as with soccer or music or any of the other activities in which children engage).
    I appreciate your candor and your eloquence.

  7. I used to watch it all the time but have not in recent years. I was watching football last night. Ms. America is losing some of its classy factor by having Kris Jenner as a judge



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